Srinagar: The University of Kashmir (KU) has restructured the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) for postgraduate courses. The modified form will be executed from this academic session.
Under the modified CBCS, a postgraduate student at a particular department of the varsity will have to take only eight credits of their degree from other departments instead of the 16 credits that were mandatory so far.
Under the CBCS, which the KU adopted in 2014, a postgraduate programme consists of 96 credits with 24 credits to be studied for by a student in each of the four semesters.
In 2015, the KU made it mandatory for students of a particular department to study for 16 of the 96 credits from other departments. A student was supposed to move out of his/her parent department for four credits in each semester.
KU’s Chief Coordinator CBCS, Prof Mohammad Shafi said that the varsity will teach a restructured CBCS to the postgraduate students from this academic session, a proposal that, he said, has been approved by the KU administration.
He said that students will now have to study for only eight credits in other departments throughout their postgraduate degree.
Eight credits have been returned to the parent department with Prof Shafi hoping that it would make the core courses of study “stronger”.
The PG courses are divided into core, discipline-centric and elective under the CBCS. Electives are further categorised into open and generic electives.
Prof Shafi said that in the run-up to the decision, there were a series of meetings among top KU officials. “There were deliberations that the mandatory 16 credits to be taken by the students in other departments were too much burden on them,” he said.
“More importantly, the four credits (to be studied per semester in other departments) didn’t make a single course, they are divided into further courses,” he added.
Although, the suggestion by some officials to reduce the credits for a PG programme from 96 to 88 was thought to be “operationally appropriate” at the meetings, Prof Shafi said that the suggestion was rejected given that the University Grants Commission’s threshold for credits is 96.
Prof Shafi said that many departments at the varsity have modified their respective programmes. “The departments can add a course of two credits weightage per semester or they can go for two courses of a weightage of four credits each throughout the programme,” he informed.
He said that the students will get to study for 88 credits in their parent discipline instead of only 80 credits as earlier.
A student will now study for 56 credits of core papers instead of for 48 credits of core papers. Besides, the credits for core courses throughout the degree, 32 credits, eight credits per semester, are to be selected from discipline-centric electives. While the weightage of the credits has remained the same, only their proportion has changed.
The students can even opt for some electives from the Government of India’s SWAYAM portal, Prof Shafi said. “But the credits opted from the portal must constitute a maximum of 25 percent of the total weightage,” he informed.